Of trucks and treasures
Last night I made a confession, live from the pulpit at a packed carol service. The confession was this – that I secretly love the Coca-Cola ‘holidays are coming’ advert. I love it despite the fact that I don’t really like Coca-Cola. I love it although it irks me no end that the Coca-Cola symbol is a more universally recognised symbol than the cross of Christ. I love it even though I resent the fabrication of jolly old Santa as the man in red arising from a 1930s advertising campaign. Despite all of that, the advertisement, with its simple message of ‘spreading the cheer’ resonates with me.
This year I am more convinced than ever that the real treasure of God’s presence is to be found in the midst of the mess and upturned furniture of our lives – rather than away from it. A God who could choose his entrance to the world in such inauspicious circumstances as a borrowed feeding trough in a borrowed shed will surely choose to be found in unexpected places. One of our Christmas Doors this year nestles on the wall beside a litter bin and underneath a shelf of crisps. Open it up, though, and there is gorgeous treasure to be found within.
Once we take that truth to heart, we become agents of change – making God visible to others where he could not previously be seen. Last night I told the story of a little town in British Columbia where one of the residents takes time every year to dress his cement mixer up with 14,000 Christmas lights. He then drives it around the town playing Christmas carols. In his own way, like the Coca-Cola juggernauts, he is spreading the light.
What about you?